Eugène Ysaÿe

Biography

Born: July 16, 1858; Liège, Belgium   Died: May 12, 1931; Liege, Belgium  
Eugène Ysaÿe was one of the greatest violinists who ever lived. He coupled beauty of tone and remarkable technical ability with a depth of musical expression that few violinists before or since can be said to have equalled, or even approached. Ysaÿe succeeded in breathing new life into an art that had become polarized by two divergent styles and personalities: the austere temperament of Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), and the flashy Read more virtuosity of Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908). Ysaÿe achieved a grand synthesis of these two approaches by imbuing the "serious" music of Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven, so dear to Joachim, with the flashy yet never superficial brilliance that Sarasate had been wont to apply to "lesser" works in the repertoire. Ysaÿe became the leading violinist of his time, spawning many illustrious pupils and proteges, among them Josef Gingold and Fritz Kreisler. Ysaÿe was also an accomplished composer, whose Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Opus 27 (1924) are recognized masterpieces of the genre.

Eugène Ysaÿe was born on July 16, 1858 in Liege, Belgium. He received his first violin lessons from his father when he was five years old. After this he studied with Rodolphe Massart, making his first public appearance at age seven. Ysaÿe was not, however, a prodigy; he was later kicked out of the Liege Conservatory due to poor performance! But he persisted, and went on to study with the famous violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski (1835-80) with whom he made considerable progress; he was soon accepted as a student by the legendary Belgian violinist-composer Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-81).

In 1879, Ysaÿe made the acquaintance of Joseph Joachim, and performed with Clara Schumann. He soon began touring, visiting Norway in 1881, and playing at the Paris Conservatory in 1883. In Paris, he befriended the composer Cesar Franck, who wrote his beautiful Sonata for Piano and Violin in A Major (1886) as a wedding present for Ysaÿe. This work soon became a signature piece for the violinist, who stamped it with his own inimitable style.

During this period, Ysaÿe founded the Concerts in Brussels that bore his name, as well as his own string quartet, which included his pupil Mathieu Crickboom, to whom Ysaÿe later dedicated the fifth of his Six Sonatas for Solo Violin. This ensemble premiered Claude Debussy's String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Opus 10 in 1893. A year later Ysaÿe made his first appearance in America, where he met with tremendous sucess, finally returning in 1918 to take over the post of conductor for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra which he held until 1922.

After his retirement from conducting, Ysaÿe devoted himself fully to composing, and the teaching of a select group of pupils, including Josef Gingold, who later went on to achieve international fame. By this time, Ysaÿe's performance technique had declined, due to a rapid deterioration of his right-arm stability -- a condition known to violinists as "bow tremor." This was probably the result of diabetes, with which he had been struggling for some time. Despite the fact that his performance career lasted for only 25 years, Ysaÿe exercised a tremendous influence on violinsts -- an influence still being felt today. His personal aura and grand musical sensibility were only two aspects of a complex personality that not only "played" but also lived the music he held dear. He was an authentic performer, an artist of immense stature and unmatched musical ability. Eugène Ysaÿe died on May 12, 1931, at the age of 72. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 147 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Art of Midori
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 518340 Release Date: 05/06/2016   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Antonín Dvorák,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Midori,  Robert McDonald,  Nobuko Imai,  Christoph Eschenbach
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Claudio Abbado,  Christoph Eschenbach,  Mariss Jansons
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
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  • 2.
    Ysaye: Violin Sonatas / Zimmermann
    Label: Warner Classics   Catalog: 554936 Release Date: 04/15/2016  
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Frank Peter Zimmermann
    CD: $13.99
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  • 3.
    Ysaye & Yvonne / Smeulers
    Label: Genuin Musikproduction   Catalog: 16417 Release Date: 04/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Yvonne Smeulers
    CD: $18.99
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  • 4.
    Reve d'un enfant / Rosa, Powell
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 123 Release Date: 03/11/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  César Franck,  Maurice Ravel,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Sophie Rosa,  Benjamin Powell
    CD: $17.99
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  • 5.
    On Fire: The Virtuoso Violin / Koornhof, Vorster
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3479 Release Date: 02/12/2016   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Henri Wieniawski,  Alexander Glazunov,  William Kroll,  Balys Dvarionas  ... 
    Performer:  Piet Koornhof,  Bernarda Vorster
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  • 6.
    Roberto Sawicki, Violon
    Label: Gall (Formerly Gallo)   Catalog: 1455 Release Date: 02/09/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Janine Allanic,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Ernest Bloch,  Igor Stravinsky  ... 
    Performer:  Roberto Sawicki
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  • 7.
    David Oistrakh in Prague, 1966-72
    Label: Praga   Catalog: 250320 Release Date: 01/08/2016   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Béla Bartók,  Leos Janácek,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Sergei Prokofiev  ... 
    Performer:  Frida Bauer,  David Oistrakh
    CD: $22.99
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  • 8.
    Works For Two Violins: Ysaye, Prokof'ev, Manzoli
    Label: Dynamic   Catalog: 7738 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Sergei Prokofiev,  Andrea Manzoli
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  PimaDuo
    CD: $19.99
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  • 9.
    Ysaye: Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Op. 27 / Saeijs
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 536 Release Date: 11/13/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Frederieke Saeijs
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  • 10.
    Bach 2 The Future / Fenella Humphreys
    Label: Champs Hill Records   Catalog: 102 Release Date: 10/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Cheryl Frances-Hoad,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Gordon Crosse  ... 
    Performer:  Fenella Humphreys
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  • 11.
    First Loves
    Label: Visionintoart   Catalog: 6 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Fritz Kreisler,  Jules Massenet,  Franz Waxman,  Sir Edward Elgar  ... 
    Performer:  Robert Koenig,  Tim Fain
    CD: $19.99
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  • 12.
    The Best Of Tianwa Yang
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8578317 Release Date: 09/11/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Pablo de Sarasate,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Astor Piazzolla
    Performer:  Tianwa Yang
    CD: $9.99
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  • 13.
    Sunken Cathedral: Classics For Kids
    Label: eOne   Catalog: 7793 Release Date: 08/21/2015   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Franz Schubert,  Robert Schumann,  Gabriela Montero,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Marc Neikrug,  Pinchas Zukerman
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  • 14.
    From The History Of The Tchaikovsky Competition Phonodocuments
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: 1002349 Release Date: 08/14/2015   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Spoken Word,  Dmitri Kabalevsky,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Frédéric Chopin  ... 
    Performer:  Naum Shtarkman,  Stefan Ruha,  Victoria Stefanescu,  Lev Vlasenko  ... 
    Conductor:  Kiril Kondrashin,  Boris Khaikin,  Neeme Järvi,  Fuat Mansurov  ... 
    CD: $88.99
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  • 15.
    Ysaye: Sonatas for Solo Violin / Ibragimova
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67993 Release Date: 06/09/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Alina Ibragimova
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  • 16.
    Camilla Wicks: Five Decades Of Treasured Performances
    Label: Music & Arts   Catalog: 1282 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Johannes Brahms,  Maria Theresia Paradis,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Camilla Wicks,  Robert Levin,  Horace Martinez,  Martin Katz  ... 
    Conductor:  Fritz Busch,  Ari Rasilainen,  William Steinberg,  Leopold Stokowski  ... 
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  • 17.
    Remembrances / Koornhof, van der Walt
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3476 Release Date: 05/12/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Paul Schoenfield,  John T. Williams,  William Bolcom  ... 
    Performer:  Truida Van Der Walt,  Piet Koornhof
    CD: $17.99
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  • 18.
    The Romantic Cello Concerto Vol 6 - Vieuxtemps, Ysaye / Gerhardt
    Label: Hyperion   Catalog: 67790 Release Date: 02/10/2015   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Vieuxtemps,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Alban Gerhardt
    Conductor:  Josep Caballé-Domenech
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Flemish Philharmonic
    CD: $18.99
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  • 19.
    Bach & Ysaye, Vol. 1
    Label: Cavi Music   Catalog: 8553320 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Antje Weithaas
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  • 20.
    Bach, Paganini, Ernst, Ysaye, Kreisler, Haas: Violino Solo
    Label: Supraphon   Catalog: 41752 Release Date: 11/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Niccolò Paganini,  Fritz Kreisler,  Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst,  Eugène Ysaÿe  ... 
    Performer:  Jiri Vodicka
    CD: $19.99
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  • 21.
    Homage To Carlo Van Neste: Belgian Violin School
    Label: Pavane Records   Catalog: 7550 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Charles-Auguste de Bériot,  Francis De Bourguignon,  Frederic Devreese,  Jacques Henri  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Van Neste,  Naum Sluszny,  Eric Feldbusch
    Conductor:  Edgard Doneux,  Franz André,  Daniël Sternefeld,  Rene Defossez
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Trio Reine Elisabeth De Belgique
    CD: $39.99
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  • 22.
    Ysaye: Six Sonatas For Solo Violin / Jassen Todorov
    Label: Gega New   Catalog: 76 Release Date: 10/14/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Jassen Todorov
    On sale! $20.98
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  • 23.
    Violin Duos / Kogan, Gilels [Vinyl]
    Label: Melodiya   Catalog: MELLP0054 Release Date: 09/09/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georg Philipp Telemann,  Jean-Marie Leclair,  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Leonid Kogan,  Elizaveta Gilels
    LP: $48.99
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  • 24.
    Bach - Donatoni
    Label: Amadeus Arte   Catalog: 14001 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Eugène Ysaÿe,  Franco Donatoni,  Jacques Ibert  ... 
    Performer:  Jacopo Francini
    CD: $14.99
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  • 25.
    Ysaye: Harmonies Du Soir
    Label: Musique En Wallonie   Catalog: 1472 Release Date: 06/24/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Eugène Ysaÿe
    Performer:  Thibault Lavrenov,  Tatiana Samouil,  Olivier Giot,  Emilie Belaud
    Conductor:  Jean-Jacques Kantorow
    CD: $18.99
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